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Making of contracts through election agents

Section 115 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states:-

(1) The election agent of a group of candidates shall appoint every clerk and messenger employed for payment on behalf of the group at the election and shall hire every committee room hired on behalf of the group.

(2) A contract whereby any expenses are incurred on account of or in respect of the conduct or the management of the election shall not be enforceable against a candidate unless made by the candidate or by the election agent of the group to which the candidate belongs:

Provided that the inability under this Act to enforce such contract against a candidate shall not relieve such candidate from the consequences of any corrupt or illegal practices committed by the election agent or assistant agent of his group with the consent or connivance of such candidate.

Payment of expenses

Section 116 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states:-

(1) Except as permitted by this section or in pursuance of section 123, no payment and no advance or deposit shall be made by a candidate or by any other person at any time in respect of election expenses otherwise than by or through the election agent of the group of candidates to which the candidate belongs.

(2) A candidate may pay personal expenses incurred by him on account of or in connection with or incidental to the election to an amount not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars; and such candidate shall send to the election agent of his group of candidates not later than the 14t day after the declaration of the results of the election under section 110 a written statement of personal expenses so paid.

(3) Any personal expenses in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars incurred by a candidate shall be paid by the election agent.

(4) If a candidate pays personal expenses in excess of the sum specified in subsection (2) he shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

Petty and overseas expenditure

Section 117 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states:-

(1) A person authorized in that behalf by an election agent may pay any necessary expenses for stationery, postage, telegrams and other petty expenses, or may pay any expenses incurred outside Guyana on account of or in respect of the conduct or the management of the election, to a total amount not exceeding that names in the authority; and such person shall send to the election agent not later than the 14th day after declaration of the results of the election under section 110 a written statement of the payments so made together with particulars thereof.

(2) Any petty expenses incurred in excess of the amount named in the authority of the election agent shall be paid by the election agent.

Maximum expenses ]

Section 118 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states:-

(1) No expenses shall be incurred by or on behalf of a group of candidates and no payment shall b e made on their behalf whether before, during or after the election, on account of or in respect of the conduct and management of the election –

    1. in excess of the sum of fifty thousand dollars multiplied by the number of candidates not exceeding 53 on the list of candidates;

    (b) for purposes other than the following -

    (i) the expenses of printing, advertising, publishing, issuing and distributing addresses and notices;

    (ii) the expense of stationery, messages, postages and telegrams;

    (iii) the expense of holding public meetings and holding outside Guyana meetings open to electors generally;

    (iv) the expenses of committee rooms, no more than one such room being situated in each district within the meaning of the National Registration Act;

    (v) expenses permitted under section 130;

    (vi) the personal expenses of candidates.

(2) In determining the total expenditure incurred by a group of candidates no regard shall be had to amounts paid by candidates under section 116(2).

(3) If an election agent incurs or pays election expenses in excess of the sum specified in subsection (1), or for purposes other than those therein specified, he shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(4) If a candidate pays any election expenses except his personal expenses otherwise than by or through the election agent of his group of candidates or in pursuance of section 123 he shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

Remuneration of election agent

Section 119 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states:-

So far as circumstances permit, this Part shall apply to a claim for his remuneration by and election agent and to the payment thereof in like manner as if he were any other creditor; and, if there is any dispute as to the amount due, such claim shall be a disputed claim within the meaning of this Part and dealt with accordingly.

Election expenses return and declarations

Section 120 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states:-

(1) Not later than the 35th day after the declaration of the results of the election under section 110 the election agent of each group of candidates shall forward to the Chief Election Officer a return which shall be in Form 26 and shall contain statements of –

  1. all payments made by the election agent;

  2. the amount of personal expenses paid by each of the candidates;

  3. all disputed claims of which the election agent is aware;

  4. all unpaid claims of which the election agent is aware in respect of which application has been or is about to be made to the High Court;

  5. all money, securities and equivalent of money received by the election agent from the candidates or any other person for the purposes of expenses incurred or to be incurred on account of or in respect of the conduct or management of the election and the name of every person from whom such money, securities and equivalent of money were received;

  6. any duly authorized expenses incurred for ay purpose referred to in section 126(1).

(2) Every payment made by an election agent, in respect of any expenses incurred on account of or in respect of the conduct or management of the election shall except where less than one hundred dollars be vouched for by a receipt or by a bill stating the particulars; and all such bills and receipts shall be sent to the Chief Election Officer with the election expenses return.

(3) The election expenses return shall be accompanied by a declaration by the election agent as to election expenses, in Form 27 and each candidate shall make and transmit, or cause to be transmitted, to the Chief Election Officer not later than the 35th day after the declaration of the results of the election under section 110, a declaration as to election expenses in Form 28.

(4) Where, after the election expenses return has been forwarded to the Chief Election Officer, leave is given by the High Court for any claim to be paid, the election agent shall, within seven days of the payment of such claims, forward to the Chief Election Officer a return of the sums paid together with a copy of the order of the court.

(5) If without an authorised excuse a candidate or an election agent fails to comply with any requirement imposed on him by this section, he shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

Publication of summary of election expenses return]

Section 121 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states:-

(1) The Chief Election Officer shall, as soon as may be after the receipt of each election expenses return, cause to be published in the Gazette a summary thereof, accompanied by a notice of the time and place at which the election expenses return and accompanying documents and the election expenses declarations can be inspected.

(2) Election expenses returns and accompanying documents and election expenses declarations shall at all reasonable times during a period of two years after their receipt be open to inspection at the office of the Chief Election Officer by any person on payment of a fee of fifteen dollars; and the Chief Election Officer shall on demand furnish copies thereof or of part thereof on payment of a fee of fifteen dollars for every one hundred and twenty words or part of one hundred and twenty words.

(3) After the expiration of two years the Chief Election Officer may cause the election expenses return and accompanying documents and the election expenses declarations to be destroyed unless any election agent requires them to be sent to him.

Authorized excuse for failure to submit return and declarations

Section 122 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states:-

(1) Where the election expenses return or any expenses declaration has not been submitted as required by section 120, or having been submitted contains an error or a false statement, then –

  1. if any candidate applies to the High Court, and shows that his failure to submit an election expenses declaration or any part thereof, or any error or false statement therein has arisen by reason of his illness, or of the absence, death, illness or misconduct of another candidate or of the election agent or of an assistant agent or of any clerk or officer employed by the election agent, or by reason of inadvertence or of any reasonable cause of a like nature, and not by reason of any want of good faith on the part of the applicant; or

  2. if an election agent applies to the High Court and shows that his failure to submit the return and his declaration, or either of them, or any part thereof, or any error or false statement therein, has arisen by reason of his illness, or by reason of the absence, death, illness or misconduct of a candidate or of a former election agent of the group or of an assistant agent or of any clerk or officer employed by the election agent or of any clerk or officer employed by the election agent, or by reason of inadvertence or of any reasonable cause of a like nature, and not by reason of any want of good faith on the part of the applicant;

the court may, on being satisfied that notice of the application has been published in two newspapers circulating in Guyana, and on production of such evidence of the grounds stated in the application, and of the good faith of the application, and otherwise, as to the court seems fit, make an order allowing an authorized excuse for the failure to submit the return or any declaration as the case may be or for any error or a false statement therein, as to the court seems just.

(2) Where it appears to the court that any person being or having been a candidate, an election agent or assistant agent has refused or failed to make such return or declaration or supply such particulars as to enable any candidate or an election agent to comply with any requirement imposed on him by section 120, the court, before making an order allowing an authorized excuse, shall order such person to attend before the court; and, on his attendance shall, unless he shows cause to the contrary, order him to make and deliver such return or declaration or supply such particulars within such time and to such person and in such manner as to the court seems just, or may order him to be examined with respect to such particulars, and may, in default of compliance with any such order, order him to pay a fine of thirty-two thousand five hundred dollars.

(3) An order allowing an authorized excuse may be made conditional upon the making of the election expenses return or any election expenses declaration or upon the making of them in a modified form or within an extended time and upon the compliance with such other terms as to the court seem best calculated for carrying into effect the objects of these regulations; and an order allowing an authorized excuse shall relieve the applicant for the order from any liability or consequences under this Act in respect of the matter excused by the order.

(4) The date of the order allowing an authorized excuse, or if conditions and terms are to be complied with, the date on which the applicant for the order fully complies with them, is in this Act referred to as the date of the allowance of the excuse.

Period of claims for payment of election expenses

Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states:-

(1) Every claim against any candidate or against an election agent in respect of any expenses incurred on account of or in respect of the conduct or management of an election shall be sent to the election agent not later than the 14th day after the publication under section 110 of the results of the election.

(2) Any such claim as is specified in subsection (1) which is not sent to the election agent within the time therein prescribed shall be barred and not paid.

(3) An election agent who pays a claim in contravention of subsection (2) shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(4) All expenses incurred on account of or in respect of he conduct or management of the election shall be paid not later than the 28th day after the publication under section 110 of the results of the election.

(5) An election agent who makes a payment in contravention of subsection (4) shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(6) If an election agent disputes any claim received by him within the time limited by subsection (1) or if he refuses or fails to pay such claim within the period mentioned in subsection (4), such claim shall be deemed to be a disputed claim.

(7) a claimant may, if he thinks fit, bring an action for a disputed claim in any competent court; and anything paid by a candidate or by an election agent in pursuance of the judgement or order of the court shall be deemed to be paid within the time limited by subsection(1) and to be an exception from the provisions of this Act requiring claims to be paid by the election agent.

(8) The High Court may, on application by the claimant or by a candidate or by an election agent and on cause shown to its satisfaction, by order give leave for the payment by a candidate or by an election agent of a disputed claim or for a claim in respect of expenses incurred on account of or in respect of the conduct or management of an election, notwithstanding that such claim was sent after the time limit prescribed by subsection (1), and notwithstanding and sending of such claim to a candidate and not to the election agent.

(9) Any sum specified in any order of the court made under subsection (8) may be paid by a candidate or by an election agent and when paid in pursuance of such order shall be deemed to be paid within the time limited by subsection (1).

Exemption of act done in good faith from being an illegal practice

Section 124 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states:-

Where, on application made, it is shown to the High Court by such evidence as to the court seems sufficient that -

  1. any act or omission of any candidate or of any election agent or of any other agent or person, would, by reason of being a payment, contract, engagement, employment or hiring, or the incurring of an expense in excess of the maximum allowed, in contravention of any of the provisions of this Act pertaining thereto, be but for this section an illegal practice, payment, employment or hiring; and

  2. such act or omission arose from inadvertence or from accidental miscalculation or from some other reasonable cause of a like nature, and in any case did not arise from any want of good faith; and

  3. notice of the application has been published in two newspapers circulating in Guyana,

and in the circumstances it seems to the court to be just that such candidate, election agent and other agent or person, or certain of them should not be subject to any of the consequences under this Act of the act or omission the court may make an order allowing such act or omission to be an exception from the provisions of this Act which would otherwise make the same an illegal practice, payment, employment, hiring or an incurring of an expense in excess of the maximum allowed, and such candidate, election agent or other agent or person as the court may specify in its order shall not be subject to any of the consequences under this Act of the act or omission.

Saving for creditors

Section 125 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states:-

The provisions of this Act prohibiting certain payments and contracts for payments, and the payment of any sum and the incurring of any expenses in excess of eh prescribed maximum, shall not affect the rights of any creditor who when the contract was made or the expense incurred was ignorant that such contract, payment or expense was in contravention of this Act.

Prohibition of expenses not authorized by election agent

Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states:-

(1) No expenses shall, with a view to promoting or procuring the election of a group of candidates, be incurred by any person other than the election agent of the group or by a person authorized in writing by him on account of –

  1. holding any meetings mentioned in section 118(1)(b)(iii) or organizing-

(i) any public display; or

(ii) any display, outside Guyana, open to electors generally.

  1. issuing advertisements, circulars or publications;

  2. otherwise presenting to the electors the candidates of the group or any of them or their views or the extent or nature of their backing or of disparaging the candidates of another group or any of them;

Provided that paragraph (c) shall not –

(i) restrict the publication of any matter relating to the election in a newspaper or other periodical; or

(ii) apply to any expenses not exceeding in the aggregate the sum of one hundred dollars which may be incurred by an individual and are not incurred in pursuance of a plan suggested y or concerted with others, or to expenses incurred by any person travelling or in living away from home or similar personal expenses.

(2) Any person other than an election agent or a person authorized in that behalf in writing by him who incurs expenses prohibited by subsection (1) shall be guilty of a corrupt practice.

(3) Any expenses incurred on account of any purpose referred to in subsection (1) and duly authorized by the election agent shall be returned as part of the election expenses of the group of candidates.

False election expenses declarations

Section 127 of the Representation of the People Act (Cap. 1:03) states:-

Any candidate or election agent who makes an election expenses declaration containing any statement false in fact, which he knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, shall be guilty of a corrupt practice.

 

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